a delta variable Sars-CoV-2 already accounts for nearly 90% of the world’s sequenced virus samples, according to a new epidemiological report from the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) released on Sunday (8).
Because Delta’s rapid progress in and out of the Americas, The organization recommends that countries review their plans and prepare for an eventual increase in cases and hospitalizations for Covid-19, including the need for intensive supportive care such as dialysis.
Last Wednesday (4), the Ministry of Health of the State of Rio de Janeiro stated that the alternative Corresponding to 45% of the samples analyzed in the capital and 26% of those in the state. In São Paulo, a bulletin from the Adolfo Lutz Institute (IAL) indicated deltas in 23.5% of the samples sequenced at the Institute.
The PAHO advises countries to step up genetic surveillance and ensure that genetic sequences are published on Gisaid, an international genomic data platform.
The delta variant (B.18.104.22.168) was first notified in July 2020, and is now present in 135 countries. But according to Opas, it is necessary to carefully consider genetic sequence data for variants as they may be biased, as The largest contribution comes from high-income countries.
“Not all countries share their data through the Gisaid platform, and genetic sequencing capacity may vary from country to country.”
According to the organization, the lack of sequencing can give a false sense that new variants are not circulating in certain regions, “which could negatively affect the structural capacity of the health care response.”
Altogether, from the initial identification of Sars-CoV-2 until the last fifth day, more than 2.6 million complete genome sequences have been made in the world.
According to the Pan American Health Organization, the ability to monitor viral evolution, in near real time, has a direct impact on the public health response to the Covid-19 pandemic, allowing the identification of changes in epidemiological patterns, changes in virulence or even a reduction in the preventive efficacy of vaccines.
Globally, there are Many countries with an increase in cases and hospitalizations, with the emergence of a delta variable, Including those with high vaccination coverage.”
To date, four types of Sars-CoV-2 (alpha, beta, gamma and delta) have been identified worldwide and classified by the World Health Organization (WHO) as strains of concern.
Delta is associated with Increase portability greater than observed in other variables. A study, but without peer review, indicates that it generates a viral load 1260 times higher than the original strain.
According to Opas, another recent study in the UK estimated that the risk of hospitalization for Covid-19 doubles in individuals with delta (compared to alpha). The most vulnerable patients are those with five or more comorbidities.
According to the Pan American Health Organization, reduced efficacy of vaccines relative to the delta variant can occur mainly in people who receive only the first dose of the immunizing agent.
In addition to maximizing the coverage of the two-dose vaccine, WHO recommends that countries strengthen non-pharmacological prevention and protection measures, such as physical distance and use of masks and antiseptic solutions (such as soap, water, disinfectants and alcohol gel). “These measures remain effective in reducing transmission of this and all variants.”